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Best of Member Blogs: From Corn Syrup To TOJam

Showcasing highlights from Gamasutra's Member Blogs, we look at a response to remarks by President Obama, opinions on dialogue trees, and the in-progress recounting of the Toronto Game Jam.
In our weekly Best of Member Blogs column, we showcase notable pieces of writing from members of the game community who maintain Member Blogs on Gamasutra. Member Blogs can be maintained by any registered Gamasutra user, while invitation-only Expert Blogs -- also highlighted weekly -- are written by selected development professionals. Our favorite blog post of the week will earn its author a lifetime subscription to Gamasutra's sister publication, Game Developer magazine. (All magazine recipients outside of the United States or Canada will receive lifetime electronic subscriptions.) We hope that our blog sections can provide useful and interesting viewpoints on our industry. For more information, check out the official posting guidelines. This Week's Standout Member Blogs - The Marginalization of Video Game Retailers (Jay Johnson) In the wake of GameStop management downplaying the growth and acceptance of digital distribution, Jay Johnson takes the other side, pointing out the arenas in which it is already taking considerable ground. For his effort, Josh will receive a lifetime subscription to Gamasutra sister publication Game Developer magazine. - Should failure be an option? (Josh Bycer) With Nintendo introducing a self-playing game assistant into certain upcoming titles, there is guaranteed to be plenty of discussion about the merits of challenge and the pitfalls of frustration in gameplay. Josh Bycer kicks it off with a post spawning a lengthy comment thread. - ToJam #4 - Saturday - Clogged Laughter, Drunk Circuits and Doomed Boats (Jim McGinley) After a few weeks away from the blogs, event commentator par excellence Jim McGinley returns for his third piece of coverage on the 2009 Toronto Game Jam. As always, it is very much worth a read. - Considerations on flowcharts, dialogues and Design Documents (Cindy Dalfavo) Budding game designer Cindy Dalfavo makes her first Gamasutra blog post, addressing the development community on the topic of design documents and readable dialogue trees -- topics that have yet to be standardized in any meaningful way. - High Fructose Corn Syrup VERSUS Video Games (Jay Johnson) Jay's second post this week takes on a much-discussed comment by President Obama that parents should spend time "raising our children to step away from the video games and spend more time playing outside." Among other things, Jay compares the health effects of game playing to those of the less frequently demonized high-fructose corn syrup.

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